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RE: [Galicia_Poland-Ukraine] Re: Why did they emigrate?

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  • Angela Birt
    Thanks Jim I am so lucky to have this interview. It was transcribe from Ukrainian, and since has been published in several books Angela To:
    Message 1 of 35 , Mar 1, 2009
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      Thanks Jim



      I am so lucky to have this interview.

      It was transcribe from Ukrainian, and since has been published in several books



      Angela







      To: Galicia_Poland-Ukraine@yahoogroups.com
      From: JimStamm@...
      Date: Sun, 1 Mar 2009 11:46:17 -0700
      Subject: Re: [Galicia_Poland-Ukraine] Re: Why did they emigrate?





      .
      On Mar 1, 2009, at 11:07 AM, Angela Birt wrote:
      .
      > Why did they emigrate here is a interview from 1926 of my
      > greatgrandfather
      .
      Thanks for the transcript Angela. Sometimes I wonder why I waste my
      time on this forum(?). Your post has made it all worthwhile. It is a
      treasure, and says so much. Real subjective history. It makes me
      want to go there and walk the road, and sit on a bolder amidst the
      cleared fields.

      -Jim

      .









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    • Tammy Mierau
      Angela,   What a lovely and heroic story to have from your great grandfather!  So many of us have little or no stories and fewer paper trails to follow. 
      Message 35 of 35 , Mar 3, 2009
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        Angela,
         
        What a lovely and heroic story to have from your great grandfather!  So many of us have little or no stories and fewer paper trails to follow.  No speculation or guesses with this one story.  This is indeed a writing to keep for many generations to follow.  Thanks for sharing this with us all. It is a small reminder of the hardships faced by our many ancestors.  We are all blessed to have the lives we live today as a result of our ancestors.  Thanks again!!
         
        ~Tammy

        --- On Sun, 3/1/09, Angela Birt <apt_birt@...> wrote:

        From: Angela Birt <apt_birt@...>
        Subject: RE: [Galicia_Poland-Ukraine] Re: Why did they emigrate?
        To: galicia_poland-ukraine@yahoogroups.com
        Received: Sunday, March 1, 2009, 1:07 PM



        Why did they emigrate here is a interview from 1926 of my greatgrandfather





        I, Joseph , lived in a small town of Mariampole on the Dnister River. In 1897,
        two men of my age group left for Canada. A few months later, they wrote to his
        brothers to come to Canada and I also got interested in going. I sold my house
        and field. I received for both 700 zlotys or 475 dollars. I only had two morgans
        of land ( not sure how much 2 morgans of land is but, maybe arournd 2 acres had
        two sons that needed this land also.) By 1919 he brought another farm, so the
        future looked brighter.



        I was a stonebreaker working on erecting stone walls to prevent erosion on the
        Dnister River. I earned little and as we did not have much land, the future did
        not seem very bright. When we left for Canada with our three children in 1898



        . After arriving in Montreal, we traveled west by train and saw little else
        besides pine and rocks. My wife, who was not anxious to emigrate said to me:
        "You see what Canada is like!" After a while we passed small farms and
        saw cattle grazing; there were also small fields and farm houses and gardens.
        This cheered up my wife and she said: "If I knew that we would have a calf
        like that ,

        I would be happy."



        We were transported by wagon to Section 30 where there was a shed for us to
        stay in , but the road ended there. Then we cut three miles of road for
        ourselves to get farther on. When we completed this, an Englishman transported
        our belongings to our farm by wagon. We walked behind the wagon and carried our
        children as it was too rough to ride in the wagon. We came by wagon to this spot
        where we are now. A tall one-armed German fellow came with us. He was assigning
        farms, and said to us: "These are your farms." There were iron stakes
        that indicated the corners.



        Immediately we built a hut to accommodate the two families. At each end there
        was an opening, a separate entrance, and the bed sheets were used to close them;
        we had no doors. The one stove we had was set outside. The mosquitoes were bad:
        they flew in clouds and virtually flew into our mouths and made it practically
        impossible to eat. The poor children cried as they were tormented by them, and
        it was necessary to build a smudge to get some relief. The only space was that
        by the hut and the rest was trees and bush. Soon we erected a house out of logs.
        This took nearly a month. We cut grass with a sickle and were able to thatch the
        roof. We brought sickles and scythes from the Old Country and still have them,
        the only things to remind us of our native land. When the houses were ready, we
        bought a cow so that there would be milk for the children. We also bought
        another bag of flour. As we bought various seeds such as beans, beets, cabbage,
        corn and cucumbers, we planted a garden. It was about twenty feet square; and
        everything we planted germinated and started to grow, but on St. Peter's Day
        (the 12th of July), there was a heavy frost and all was lost. We arrived on our
        farms of bush and rock on the 29th of June, 1898, and after making what we
        considered to be reasonable arrangements for our families, we decided to go away
        and find work.



        The women and the children picked mushrooms and cleared more land for a garden,
        crying for the Old Country for they were lonesome. First Employment we cut
        peat-moss and dragged it out with hooks. We made ditches and drained the water
        so that the land would be dry enough for hay. Now these places are grain fields,
        and the farmers have their homes there. We were paid a dollar a day and board.
        The next year we worked building a road bed from Stonewall to Teulon. Gravel was
        brought in by scrapers, and we leveled it out and placed ties and rails on it.
        After this was done, we tamped the gravel under the ties to make a firm base. As
        the road went farther north, it was always possible to find work during the
        first seven years.



        We today (1926) pay for threshing 6 cents a bushel for barley, 8 cents a bushel
        for wheat. We cultivated 70 acres and 60 for hay, 20 acres wheat, 20 oats and 5
        acres barley and the rest for potatoes, and the rest they call here summer fall,
        but the summer fall here has to be worked out, it has to be black, therefore, it
        has to be plowed six or seven times so the earth is always turned up. it gets
        rid of wild oats and other weeds. Wheat is changed from place to place, so where
        there is oats to barley, wheat to barley or something else. The fields aren’t
        fertilized but on the potatoes we put manure. We hauled manure by wagon and
        sled.

        The first farm was our homestead, which we bought for $10.00 for 160 acres. The
        other farm we bought in 1919 for $10.00 an acre. This farm 17 township 36
        section and 3 meridian East. We cleared 80 acres and we hired people to clear by
        axes, because it cost $12.00 and acre to clear by axe, because the bush was
        thin, that it cost $15.00 acres to have it plowed with a big plow, and turn
        bigger furroughs . Than you could plow with your own plow because it’s easier
        now and there are no stones. Now the other farm has 80 acres, which is plowed,
        and the rest has some poplar tress. Here and there are some stomps.

        .

        Now I cannot work on the road, because I’m a old man. I am 66 years old and
        I’ve worked hard, on the land on the good township 17. But there is worst land
        like townships 18,19,20 and 24, 25 more stones more bush, thicker bush and
        harder to clear. More wood to cut and sell and more hay and more cattle you can
        keep. In the summers the people go ut west to work on stokes, because they grow
        wheat, and there is work and there is money. By bush there is always hard work,
        by the time you clear the land, you need a lot of strength.

        And I now cannot work longer, my son Andrew is after us to quit. Now is six
        years he has married and I have two grandchildren Philip four years and Joseph
        two years. Son Michael died in Brandon he had thirty years and was not married.
        My one daughter Annie got married to Mike Woloshyn in Teulon, he had a
        blacksmith shop and a farm with 80 acres. On daughter Pauline is a widow and
        lives in Chicago and works in a sewing factory. Mary lives at home.



        Taxes every year are higher. First we paid three dollars than five, six and now
        for the farm we pay eighty-five to ninety-five dollars. Some farmers are leaving
        their farms and have to look for work. We have our R. M. in Selkirk they say to
        give we have to give. And have to work so hard that we can go out to buy
        machinery that cost so much but we have to. In Canada it is now expensive. We
        now have to sell vegetables to the campers .

        Living now here for twenty-eight years in Canada. Even with the taxes going so
        high I wouldn’t go back to the Old Country even if I have to hire a man to
        work in the field.







        Angela







        :







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